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Happiness...Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch

Our Lady Peace

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Album Review

Our Lady Peace follows its breakthrough second album, Clumsy, with a third that continues its hard-rock approach. The guitar-bass-drums team of Mike Turner, Duncan Coutts, and Jeremy Taggart (here augmented by guest guitarist/keyboard player Jamie Edwards) gets a full sound clearly influenced by late '60s bands like the Who and Led Zeppelin (and you can tell they've listened to late Beatles songs like "Helter Skelter," too), but with the harsh attack and sudden stops and starts common to grunge. The result is an intense, sometimes majestic sound more listenable than, but just as compelling as, some of the rap/metal hybrids the group is competing with on radio and the road, and in the record stores. Curiously, the band's weak link is lead singer and lyricist Raine Maida, whose mannered vocals, reminiscent of early David Bowie with unexpected, pointless swoops into falsetto and odd emphases, and adolescent, nihilistic words don't match the music's quality. Of course, Maida's sentiments may appeal to his potential audience, who may find lines like "Everyone you meet today is feeling useless & ashamed" ("Happiness & The Fish") and "Goodbye, the future's sold out" ("Is Anybody Home?") observations with which they can identify. (Legendary jazz Elvin Jones is credited with additional drums on the album closer, "Stealing Babies," but his participation is not readily audible.)

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Our Lady Peace was one of the most successful Canadian bands of the post-grunge era, issuing platinum-selling album after platinum-selling album while also enjoying modest acclaim in America. The group formed at the University of Toronto in 1992, where vocalist Raine Maida and guitarist Mike Turner (a British expatriate) first banded together under the name "As If". They later recruited bassist Chris Eacrett and jazz drummer Jeremy Taggart, and the quartet changed its name to Our Lady Peace in tribute...
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Happiness...Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch, Our Lady Peace
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